Steve Loftin is an engineer and contractor from Casper, Wyoming, and President of 71 Construction. As a member of the Casper Rotary Club, he is also a longtime volunteer with Food Bank of Wyoming.
The first Rotary Club was founded in 1914 by a group of Chicago businessmen who wanted to find a way to positively impact their community by donating money, time, and resources. Today, rotary clubs across the world continue that vision. That includes the Casper Rotary Club, whose members volunteer monthly at Food Bank of Wyoming’s distribution center.
“Without fail, each and every month [members of the rotary club] are here in our distribution center performing any number of mission-related tasks,” said Richard Plumlee, Food Bank of Wyoming director of operations. “This group of dedicated volunteers are so vital to the operational execution of our mission, that without them, hundreds, if not thousands of our friends and neighbors in Wyoming would go without the food they need to thrive.”
The Casper chapter first started volunteering with the Food Bank after a United Way board member approached Loftin with the idea. Loftin then proposed it to his fellow Rotarians and received an enthusiastic response. Today, up to 12 members donate their time and energy the first Monday of every month to pack food for their neighbors facing hunger.
One of the main jobs Casper Rotary Club members do during their shifts with Food Bank of Wyoming is to help unpack pallets of donated frozen meat, transfer the meat into boxes, and label them so that they can more easily be distributed. They also assist with a variety of other sorting and packaging tasks – whatever is needed most that day.
“One month they might be sorting and packing hundreds of pounds of frozen meat items in our large freezer, the next they could be inspecting, sorting, and packing tons of fresh produce to go out to all 23 counties in Wyoming,” said Plumlee. “The following month they could be packing thousands of our dry assorted food boxes to send out on one of our mobile pantries.”
Another regular rotary volunteer is Guy DeWitt, also a prominent businessman in the Casper community. “It’s always a fast hour and a half because it’s fun,” said DeWitt. “I have nothing but admiration for the people who work there full-time, and their staff are always so nice to us.”
DeWitt added that he enjoys spending his time helping his community combat food insecurity, and he has a feeling that his peers would enjoy it just as much.
“To be honest, the more we do, the more we want to come back,” he said, mentioning that the rotary is looking at adding another monthly volunteering slot on a weekend day so that more Rotarians can participate. “The Food Bank of Wyoming system, it’s fabulous,” he continued. “You can just tell by the amount of food that goes through there. I don’t see where the trucks go, but I see how many boxes we load so it’s got to be good for the community.”
For Plumlee, the feeling is mutual. “When I think of selfless service to others and having a servant’s heart, I think of the Casper Rotary Club,” he said. “They lead by example, let their work speak for itself, and do not seek any attention for themselves. They simply come to serve others, to help their friends and neighbors in need, and they do it with caring hearts.”
Interested in helping provide food for your neighbors in need? Sign up for a volunteer shift today at wyomingfoodbank.org/get-involved/volunteer. Thank you!